The pilot aims to demonstrate the benefits of multimedia in the process industries. A key common factor between process industry operators, owners, contractors and vendors is the interchange and maintenance of vast quantities of complex, time varying information over many years. The main methods of information transfer are still engineering drawings, reports and specification documents, and data sheets. These are now produced by computer but not in a way that adds value through enrichment of the information transfer process. The areas of plant design to be addressed are:
to combine video and computer visualisation of fluid processes to optimise designs, to carry out safety studies and to aid communication between different groups;
to 'bring alive' data sheets;
to integrate multimedia into the application of standards such as EDI and STEP;
to provide a structure to disseminate information in the most assessable form.
This project aims to define the requirements for a cluster of multi-media RTD projects that will result in a clear demonstration of the benefits of multimedia in the process industries. These industries constitute over 30% of European industrial output in a highly competitive world market. A key common factor between process industry operators, owners, contractors and vendors is the interchange and maintenance of vast quantities of complex, time varying information over many years. Tools to create, exchange and retrieve data in the dynamic, animated formats that naturally correspond to fluid flows in processes should enable more rapid and reliable design and operation of plant.
The partner's have contacts with organisations across the life cycle of process plant data. Through involvement with projects such as PRIMA, DESE and STOPHAZ, the project will survey a large base of end-users and data originators. This will result in a thorough understanding of the structural, managerial and technical readiness and changes required to efficiently take-up multimedia facilities.-
The different organisations involved in the process industry data life cycle give rise to many requirements. Vendors need to capture and publish information on equipment, and have that updatable as new items are introduced. Contractors, designers and engineers need to know where to find information such as standards, and institutional guidelines, and have it presented in appropriate, often dynamic, formats. Specifications for equipment purchase and calls for tenders also need to be disseminated. Once found, the information needs to be available in a usable way. Integration with existing IT facilities and work methods requires retrieval methods that account for the current user task and context sensitivity to be timely and accurate.
Partners for the pilot applications will be identified who have the necessary management structures, resources and commitment to successfully carry through multi-media projects. Some aspects of this technology are already in use, e.g. CD-ROMs for hazardous substances. The partners will identify organisations that need to collaborate to develop multi-media products for the process industries. Proposals will be made as to how those organisations can form a 'centre of excellence' to achieve rapid development and use of multi-media data sources and applications by European process industries.
The project partners combine experience in both multi-media and process industry developments. Between them they have extensive contacts with information generators and data. users across the process plant. Their technical strength will also allow them to evaluate the like impact and suitability of current and emerging technologies such as MPEG 2, JPEG and the model-mapview-Praxis methodology.